We picked up some delicious Jonagold apples this week. They are perfectly crunchy with a perfect balance of tart and sweet. Since they are not the sweet, sugary kind – and it is caramel apple season, after all, I thought I’d make a little caramel for my Friday lunch treat.
And since I’m still sick (good lord – please let this never-ending cold END soon!), I didn’t want to spend a lot of time babying and stirring some caramel, so I made caramel the way my mom used to make it for me. The “recipe” (really… there is but one ingredient – a can!) takes time – but you don’t have to stand around a monitor anything. Just set a timer and move on.
The beauty of this whole process? I was able to make caramel for my apple (or other fruit) slices more cheaply than it can be purchased, with less fat (if you use the low-fat version) and ALL of the ingredients are identifiable! Wahoo!
So, here’s to you, Mom. Thanks for teaching me how to play in the kitchen and make easy caramel. I remember the first time we made this and I wanted to open the can to see the process because I just couldn’t believe it would work. I swear this is the recipe that taught me to have a bit more faith and patience than any other. After all, without anything to do and no visual that it was working? It was certainly an act of faith!
Give this a whirl when you get some tasty apples this season, you won’t shell out the big bucks for the caramel at the market again.
This makes a perfect treat for lunch or your take-along meal. Just put a couple tablespoons in a small container and bring with your apple slices. It’s also super kid-friendly (what caramel recipe isn’t?) too. Consider it a cheap way to encourage more apple consumption in your house.
Now…if the “apple a day will keep the doctor away” adage is true…. just MAYBE I’ll get over this bug soon too! Bring on the apples! I’m ready for my health to return with a sweet treat to boot!
Easy, Cheap, Gluten-Free Caramel
1 can sweetened condensed milk (use low-fat for half the fat!)
- Peel the label off the can and place it in the bottom of a deep pan. Fill the pan with water until it covers over the top of the can by at least an inch.
- SLOWLY bring the pot to a boil and lower to a simmer. (My mom wrote to remind me to tell you all to bring the water to a boil SLOWLY so the can doesn’t explode/pop. (ew! what a mess!) Thanks again, Mom!)
- Simmer for three hours.
- Allow the can to cool before opening (or it will explode).